Why MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann decision was a really bad idea
Keith Olbermann stepped in it when he donated to a political candidate. What happened next, though, was a really bad precedent for MSNBC that’ll prove more controversial than Olbermann’s original move was. While we don’t think Keith should’ve been donating to candidates immediately after talking to them on TV, we also think the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. It also opens NBC Universal up to double standards, especially if Gawker’s right, and MSNBC doesn’t actually have the standards that NBC News does. Some other points to come out of this whole mess:
- one Even William Kristol, a conservative commentator who has no reason to support the ideologically opposed Olbermann, had his back, which was really nice of him.
- two Salon offers up another relevant point: If CNBC were held to the same standards as Olbermann, most of their staff would have to be suspended. Oy vey. source
» Correction: An earlier version of this post noted The Nation’s Washington Editor, Chris L. Hayes, no longer doing a replacement MSNBC show because of campaign contributions of his own. This was based on a still-online Wall Street Journal article. Hayes himself denied the allegations: “OK: I’m not filling in on Countdown tonight because I didn’t feel comfortable doing it given the circumstances. My not hosting tonight has *nothing* to do with several donations I made to two friends *before* I ever signed an MSNBC contract.” Thanks to Ilya Gerner and Susan Pruden for tipping us off to this. (And for reading!)